Media and Religion: The Global View

9 January 2014 - 12 January 2014
University of Colorado, Boulder, USA

Call for Papers

A vibrant international scholarship has developed at the intersection of religion and the media. The new Century dawned with clear evidence of the resilient validity of religion in contemporary life, evident in national, regional, and international settings. The so-called ‘return of religion’, or resurgence of religiosity in public life, implies, however, not the mere return of an invariant essence of religious meaning, but also creative innovations in both the individual and the collective religious experience. As scholars have increasingly focused on the implications of the mediation or “mediatization” of religion and on the imposition of religious impulses, meanings, and aspirations on the range of things we think of today as “the media,” it has become obvious that such inquiries must increasingly take account of the global context.

This includes, but is not limited to, the fact that much of this resurgent mediation of religion is in fundamental ways “global”, but also that national, regional, confessional, or sectarian instantiations of religious mediation must necessarily take account of various translocal settings. This is the case even where the locus or aspiration is radically local or narrow. But it is not only an issue of the framing of mediations of the religious or religious framings of the media. The media provide networks, channels, symbols and resources by which religious identities find a place in both local and global settings. Appadurai’s classic notion of the various “-scapes” might well then be extended to also include “religio-scapes” that are made possible through the instruments and process of modern media, from broadcasting, to print, to film, to the digital and emergent “social” media. Beyond this, emergent capacities of the global mediascape also make possible the generation of entirely new senses of, and consciousnesses of “the religious.”

This will be the fifth in a series of successful international conferences held by the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture. The previous meetings have brought together an interdisciplinary community of scholars for focused conversations on emerging issues in media and religion. Each has proven to be an important landmark in the development of theory and method in its respective area and has resulted in important collaborations, publications, and resources for further research and dialogue. Papers and panels may address, but should not be limited to questions such as:

  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of global religion
  • “Global Religion” as a distinct religious consciousness
  • Religion, globalization and cosmopolitanism
  • Role of the media in the emergence of global religious movements
  • Diasporic media and transnational discourses of religion
  • The emergence of global networked religious communities
  • The cultivation of authority and legitimacy in transnational religious spaces
  • Religion and the ‘global public sphere’
  • Media, religion and global politics
  • Technological mediation, innovation, and global religion
  • The ‘religious’ in contemporary globalized modernity
  • Intersections of religion, media and the global market
  • Mediation and Mediatization in and across different religious traditions
  • Media, global religion and comparative religious studies
  • Media, religion and global youth cultures
  • Religious aesthetics and sensations in global religion
  • Media and global religion as forms of social protest and activism

Confirmed speakers include

Pradip Thomas, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Queensland, Australia and co-director of the Centre for Communication and Social Change

Magali do Nascimento Cunha, Department of Theology at The Universidade Metodista de São Paulo,Brazil

Other invited speakers

Brian Larkin, Department of Anthropology at Barnard College.

Please send your 300-word abstract by 15 July 2013. Please include in your abstract submission a preferred email address and university and department affiliation.